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>> No. 51753 Anonymous
11th November 2013
Monday 11:24 pm
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Switzerland will hold a vote on whether to introduce a basic income for all adults, in a further sign of growing public activism over pay inequality since the financial crisis. A grassroots committee is calling for all adults in Switzerland to receive an unconditional income of 2,500 Swiss francs ($2,800) per month from the state, with the aim of providing a financial safety net for the population.

Under Swiss law, citizens can organize popular initiatives that allow the channeling of public anger into direct political action. The country usually holds several referenda a year. In March, Swiss voters backed some of the world's strictest controls on executive pay, forcing public companies to give shareholders a binding vote on compensation. A separate proposal to limit monthly executive pay to no more than what the company's lowest-paid staff earn in a year, the so-called 1:12 initiative, faces a popular vote on November 24.



I'm not entirely sure what to make of these. I reckong that if they tried the 1:12 thing over here then the lowest paid members of staff in some large organisations would end up being made redundant and replaced with contractors.
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>> No. 81341 Anonymous
1st January 2017
Sunday 8:52 pm
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Isn't that money only really devolved on paper though?
i.e. technically they gain control over the 2.7bn, but it's 2.7bn that was being spent anyway, so realistically they can only edge-fiddle, as opposed to 2.7bn extra that they can actually work with.

Without UK parliament support (or independence) it's hard to see how the government could fund the real thing. (Though I suppose for a control trial, they could probably afford it using the money from a departmental underspend. Giving 10,000 the national average wage (presumably lower in practice, but neat ball-park figure) was 265 million, while Holyrood's underspend was 350m in 2016.

Now: Calculate the national average wage from the figures given. Show your working.

>> No. 81346 Anonymous
2nd January 2017
Monday 2:21 pm
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>Show your working

Who needs to show 'working' to divide two numbers together?
>> No. 81347 Anonymous
2nd January 2017
Monday 4:12 pm
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Wanker maths teachers who put me off the entire subject by constantly insisting I write down redundant working.
You have to show working. It's very clearly written on the question. You won't get any marks unless I see some working.
>> No. 81348 Anonymous
2nd January 2017
Monday 4:30 pm
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What does any of this have to do with race, you soft bastard?
>> No. 81350 Anonymous
2nd January 2017
Monday 6:48 pm
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In fairness it's the fault of the examiners not the teachers.
>> No. 81361 Anonymous
2nd January 2017
Monday 10:48 pm
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I'm moving to Scotland.
>> No. 81362 Anonymous
3rd January 2017
Tuesday 12:34 am
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Speaking of moving up north of the wall, if an Englishman does that, does he qualify for free tertiary education?
>> No. 81369 Anonymous
3rd January 2017
Tuesday 1:37 am
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You would probably need to live there for 3 or 5 years or something to qualify.
>> No. 81373 Anonymous
3rd January 2017
Tuesday 8:31 pm
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Just wear a kilt on the enrolment day and you'll be fine.
>> No. 81374 Anonymous
3rd January 2017
Tuesday 8:41 pm
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You could have told me that three to five years ago.


Well, I do like shortbread.
>> No. 81378 Anonymous
4th January 2017
Wednesday 8:32 am
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Jobless people are being paid a guaranteed basic income of nearly £6,000 a year in a radical experiment in Finland.

The Scandinavian country became the first in Europe to trial such a scheme, with 2,000 unemployed receiving 560 Euros (£475) a month for two years from January 1.

The recipients are free to spend the money on anything they choose, do not need to prove they are looking for work and will still receive the basic income even if they do get a full- or part-time job.

Finnish government agency Kela, which is responsible for the country’s social benefits, hopes the scheme will encourage the recipients to seek employment, remove disincentives to work and reduce bureaucracy. But critics fear getting a guaranteed basic income could have the opposite effect by making some unemployed people ‘lazier’ and less inclined to look for a job.

The scheme is part of the measures by the centre-right government of Prime Minister Juha Sipila to tackle Finland’s joblessness problem.

The unemployment rate of Finland, a nation of 5.5 million, stood at 8.1 percent in November 2106 with some 213,000 people without a job, unchanged from the previous year.

Marjukka Turunen, head of Kela’s legal affairs unit, said: ‘At present, unemployed persons may not gain any additional income even if they find work because earnings reduce social benefits. For someone receiving a basic income, there are no repercussions if they work a few days or a couple of weeks. Incidental earnings do not reduce the basic income, so working and self-employment are worthwhile no matter what. This is the key idea behind the basic income.’

According to her, the basic income, which is paid in advance at the beginning of each month, also helps its recipients plan their finances and provides a sense of security. More and more people are working part-time or temporarily or are self-employed and coordinating social security systems with non-standard work is often challenging.

Kela say basic income should help to reduce bureaucracy as the recipients, who were randomly selected and aged between 25 and 58, do not have to report the number of hours they work or to fill in various forms.

The average private sector income in Finland is 3,500 Euros (£2,975) per month, according to official data.

Professor Olli Kangas, director of research at Kela, said it will be ‘highly interesting’ to see how the basic income makes people behave. He said: ‘Will this lead them to boldly experiment with different kinds of jobs? Or, as some critics claim, make them lazier with the knowledge of getting a basic income without doing anything?’

>> No. 84207 Anonymous
24th April 2018
Tuesday 5:30 pm
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The Finnish government has decided not to expand a limited trial in paying people a basic income, which has drawn much international interest.

Currently 2,000 unemployed Finns are receiving a flat monthly payment of €560 (£490; $685) as basic income. Finland's two-year pilot scheme started in January 2017, making it the first European country to test an unconditional basic income. The 2,000 participants - all unemployed - were chosen randomly.

But it will not be extended after this year, as the government is now examining other schemes for reforming the Finnish social security system.

The pilot's full results will not be released until late 2019.

>> No. 84208 Anonymous
24th April 2018
Tuesday 7:53 pm
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Seems like a low amount. I thought the entire point of it was that it would be enough money to enjoy a standard quality of life, i.e. rent a flat, get your food shopping, and do something with your daytime.
>> No. 84209 Anonymous
24th April 2018
Tuesday 8:05 pm
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I think this was on top of their other state benefits, although I've no idea what they're like in Finland.
>> No. 84210 Anonymous
25th April 2018
Wednesday 10:34 am
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I love the idea behind things like this. I love telling people about how it would actually be better for unemployment and pull out all the arguments a good socialist does about how we would actually end up dividing labour more equitably and all end up better off.

But deep down I know that if we ever got it here, I'd quit my job the same fucking day. I fancy it'd allow me to become one of those wankers with a YouTube channel or the kind of person who buys Warhammer to paint and then put on eBay, but without worrying about actually being successful because in reality I'd spend 6 days a week without even getting dressed.

My reasons for wanting a universal basic income are entirely selfish.
>> No. 84211 Anonymous
25th April 2018
Wednesday 10:51 am
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Don't feel too bad. Apparently a good number of those in the trial went on to start businesses, knowing they could afford to take the risk.
>> No. 84212 Anonymous
25th April 2018
Wednesday 11:34 am
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You know how trust fund kids often turn out to be unreasonably successful despite a lack of apparent talent? That's half the idea behind UBI. By reducing the consequences of failure, you empower people to take chances.

The early 80s were a boom period for creativity, despite record levels of unemployment. A lot of young people thought "I'm stuck on the dole, I can't get a job, I might as well start a band". Nobody really checked that you were actively seeking work, because there were so few vacancies. Countless magazines, record labels, film studios and game development companies were started off the back of Enterprise Allowance. The student grant also functioned as a kind of basic income - you could sign up for a course at a polytechnic, do the bare minimum of coursework and get paid to spend three years figuring out what you wanted to do with your life. Today we have record low unemployment, but that's not necessarily a good thing in the long term - the harsh sanctions regime has forced a lot of people into dead-end jobs or marginal "self employment" of the Uber/Deliveroo variety.
>> No. 84214 Anonymous
30th April 2018
Monday 5:47 am
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>A lot of young people thought "I'm stuck on the dole, I can't get a job, I might as well start a band". Nobody
There's a wonderful NME article on this. Has one of my favourite quotes of all time on it: "The dole used to be called the 'John Major Musical Scholarship.'"
(Yeah, I know, Scottish Nationalist website. It's just scans of an old magazine article, I'm not rehosting it just to look good.)
>> No. 85197 Anonymous
11th March 2019
Monday 7:14 am
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The tax-free personal allowance, which rises to £12,500 in April, should be scrapped and replaced with a flat payment of £48 a week for every worker, according to radical proposals welcomed by shadow chancellor John McDonnell.

The proposal, from the New Economics Foundation thinktank, is for a £48.08 “weekly national allowance,” amounting to £2,500.16 a year from the state, paid to every worker over the age of 18 earning less than £125,000 a year. The cash would not replace benefits and would not depend on employment. The policy idea has been welcomed by the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, and the Green MP Caroline Lucas, and would mean that as many as 88% of all adults would see their post-tax income rise or stay the same, helping to lift 200,000 families across the country out of poverty.

The weekly payments would be fully funded by the abolition of the tax-free personal allowance, which has seen inflation-busting increases under the Conservatives over the past 10 years, but which NEF said had benefited richer households most. For someone on £25,000 a year, the personal allowance means that the first £12,500 of their earnings, from this April, are not charged basic rate tax at 20%. This is worth £2,500. But if the same person is paid £48 a week instead, they will receive £2,496 a year, so they will be no better or worse off.

The leftwing thinktank, which has developed close links with Labour to become a key influencer of shadow Treasury thinking, estimates the current cost the tax-free allowance is as much as £111.2bn. It said the change would transfer about £8bn currently spent on tax allowances that benefit the 35% of highest income households to the rest of the country.

The policy is likely to face opposition from some voters, as it would also mean bringing down the threshold for higher-rate taxpayers from £50,000 to £37,500. This is because the starting point for 40% income tax moves with the personal allowance. NEF said this would affect the top 13% of earners in the country.

The richest 10% of households will be £1,470 better off by 2019-20 as a result of changes to the personal allowance since 2010, compared with just £130 for each of the poorest 10% of households.

>> No. 85198 Anonymous
11th March 2019
Monday 10:22 am
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I support this entirely, as someone who would be worse off for it, but can still remember a time it would have helped me pay the bills.

I assume this is the 'foot in the door' part of a larger vision for proper UBI, or at the very least it could work as a catalyst for it.
>> No. 85199 Anonymous
11th March 2019
Monday 10:45 am
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I'm not sure how accurate their analysis is, but I find it astonishing if only 13% earners would be affected by reducing the higher rate tax band from £50,000 to £37,500.
>> No. 85200 Anonymous
11th March 2019
Monday 11:47 am
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I can't be arsed verifying their figures, but they seem perfectly plausible on the face of it.

I'm more shocked that Labour are proposing a sensible, costed policy that would actually make a difference. More please.

>> No. 85201 Anonymous
11th March 2019
Monday 11:50 am
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Median individual income is around the 26 mark, so 13% earning 37-50 seems reasonable.
>> No. 85202 Anonymous
11th March 2019
Monday 1:20 pm
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It would affect everyone earning more than £37,500, not just those in that band.
>> No. 85203 Anonymous
11th March 2019
Monday 3:03 pm
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You're quibbling over <1.2%.
>> No. 85204 Anonymous
11th March 2019
Monday 5:37 pm
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Nothing has stopped us from quibbling over far more trivial matters than that before.
>> No. 85205 Anonymous
11th March 2019
Monday 9:29 pm
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Ah, so the people who live in urban areas get whacked disproportionately hard with a 40% income tax while the rural poor are trained in a transactional relationship with Comrade McDonnell. "To keep you is no benefit, to destroy you is no loss" as I'm sure he will quote in Parliament.

I'm being a bit hyperbolic but it annoys me that cost-of-living isn't calculated in income tax. Such a figure would hit the lower earning professional class in London pretty hard and funnily enough that includes the poor buggers at HMRC having to make this unnecessarily complicated system work. Maybe their London offices would soon be burned down though once some minor IT cock-up causes problems with paying off the massive tellys of the proletariat.
>> No. 85206 Anonymous
11th March 2019
Monday 9:40 pm
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>I'm being a bit hyperbolic
No shit. I'm not exactly a fervent supporter of the Dear Leader but fucking hell, have a fucking word with yourself.
>> No. 85207 Anonymous
11th March 2019
Monday 11:33 pm
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>cost-of-living isn't calculated in income tax

Would be happy to have rent and travelling expenses taken into account when paying tax. As you say though, would make an already byzantine system even worse. At the other end of the scale would be a simple, flat, same rate of tax for all; but then rich bastards like me would almost certainly pay less. No easy answers.
>> No. 85208 Anonymous
11th March 2019
Monday 11:35 pm
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Never seen that sheet before, fascinating, thanks.

Slightly gutted I've missed being in the 1% by one place though. Must work harder.
>> No. 85209 Anonymous
11th March 2019
Monday 11:40 pm
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Now I'm a proper fucking commie, me, but even so, I can kind of get behind a flat rate.

What you'd have to do though, is make the tax-free income allowance fuck huge to compensate. You'd have to have people on minimum wage more or less guaranteed not to pay anything and something like tax credits for people living in daft places like That London, while every cunt else pays 35% or summat.
>> No. 85210 Anonymous
11th March 2019
Monday 11:47 pm
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Flat tax doesn't work. Even if you avoid the issues of marginal utility by using a massive allowance, you're still leaving a fuckload of money on the table at the high end.

If you want to make sure the super-rich are paying their share, institute a wealth tax above some massive ceiling threshold. Make it high enough that someone with one property isn't going to fall foul of it, to ensure that anyone subject to it is going to be able to either earn or liquidate enough to pay their bill. Say 2% on wealth above £10m.
>> No. 85211 Anonymous
11th March 2019
Monday 11:54 pm
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Doesn't that just scare the super rich of to tax havens and less scrupulous countries that don't take as much of their unnecessarily large income off them though?
>> No. 85212 Anonymous
12th March 2019
Tuesday 12:04 am
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It isn't a problem because we're slowly and surely clamping down on secret tax havens.

Oh, no, my mistake, apparently that particular reform failed because the government didn't want it to apply to Jersey.
>> No. 85213 Anonymous
12th March 2019
Tuesday 12:14 am
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The EU would have forced them to from April 1st this year, which is the real reason behind brexit. If Article 50 gets extended, they'll be forced to impliment the new loophole closure measures regardless.
>> No. 85214 Anonymous
12th March 2019
Tuesday 1:09 am
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If you put cost of living in income tax, you discourage people from moving from high cost areas to low cost areas. Most economists would consider that a bad thing.
Though honestly I wouldn't mind taking the alternate, long-winded approach of having the government try to get the cost of living down as much as possible as part of a general commitment to rescuing areas rather than atomised individuals. Back to the days of telling companies they can get planning permission for a factory, but only if they'll build it in an area of high unemployment, while mass chucking up council houses in London to get rents down. That sort of thing. Most people just don't seem to move that often, and when they do it's to an area with some family connection already.
>> No. 85215 Anonymous
12th March 2019
Tuesday 7:28 am
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The structural problems in the British economy are basically the same as in the Eurozone, just on a smaller scale. Islington and Macclesfield are economically as different as Düsseldorf and Athens. The obvious solution is the same - split the currency. London and the Home Counties get one pound, the rest of the country gets another, with floating exchange rates. Most of the problems in deprived ex-industrial areas could be solved in a matter of years if we just allowed the currency to devalue to a sustainable level.
>> No. 85223 Anonymous
14th March 2019
Thursday 11:55 pm
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This sounds mad but also like it would work.
>> No. 85224 Anonymous
15th March 2019
Friday 10:58 am
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Would it? Or would we just see millions of Londoners drive up to Middlesbrough every weekend to fill up barrels full of cheap petrol?

That's what happens currently in Ireland, people cross the border to take advantage of the disparate prices and taxes on things. There's even some enterprising chaps who park fuel tankers just shy of the border and fill cars up on the other side. Perfectly legal, allegedly.

So you might only end up fixing the economy for the handful of northerners already loaded enough to buy a lorry.
>> No. 85225 Anonymous
15th March 2019
Friday 12:03 pm
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Petrol is only one factor, but it's the entire point in microcosm. You want to incentivise southerners to spend their money up north. You want people to blatantly take the piss, because that funnels money from south to north. You want hundreds of businesses to move their factories and offices up north, you want them to prefer northern suppliers. That's why the value of currencies is allowed to float, why Bretton Woods was such a disaster and why the Euro has broken Greece - differences in spending power help struggling economies to catch up, by making all their goods and services cheaper on the export market. We could rebalance the British economy just by printing a load of new banknotes.
>> No. 85226 Anonymous
15th March 2019
Friday 12:27 pm
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But would we then not just see the same thing happening again between Manchester and Redcar? Would we then have to divvy the money up again?
>> No. 85235 Anonymous
16th March 2019
Saturday 12:06 pm
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>We could rebalance the British economy just by printing a load of new banknotes.

This must be trolling - nobody could be this dense.
>> No. 85238 Anonymous
16th March 2019
Saturday 12:13 pm
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You do realise he means that in the context of splitting the currency, don't you?
>> No. 85239 Anonymous
16th March 2019
Saturday 12:32 pm
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Still an absolutely dense idea - unless of course he is suggesting building hard borders between each county.
>> No. 85240 Anonymous
16th March 2019
Saturday 12:42 pm
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No because the point is to get people and businesses up into the north.

I don't even agree with the lad, but I at least understand the plan.
>> No. 85259 Anonymous
17th March 2019
Sunday 9:18 am
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Y'know, even if he didn't mean that, it's not a terrible idea. During the credit crunch, quantitive easing was essentially printing new money. However if that money was given to the poor, who are more likely to spend it immediately than the rich, it would have a much more stimulatory effect on the economy, for a negligible effect on inflation. It's only printing money repeatedly to fund routine infrastructure or to pay debt, that doesn't work.
>> No. 85261 Anonymous
17th March 2019
Sunday 12:04 pm
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>who are more likely to spend it immediately than the rich, it would have a much more stimulatory effect on the economy

What would happen is that all the local / Northern shops would just put their prices up. This is capitalism / economics 101. Your printing-money idea would only work if there were similar, compensating controls on pricing and supply; otherwise this would balance out any benefit of doing it in the first place.

If you wanted to help people like this, just give them stuff, don't fuck with the supply or value of money.
>> No. 85262 Anonymous
17th March 2019
Sunday 3:01 pm
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I get the feeling you don't know how the supply of money is dictated.
>> No. 85263 Anonymous
17th March 2019
Sunday 4:10 pm
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>If you wanted to help people like this, just give them stuff, don't fuck with the supply or value of money.
The people who say this line almost inevitably proceed to balk when you suggest going all robin hood. Assuming good faith, the fundamental problem is that this misses political economy. If I announce that I'm sticking up taxes and jacking up spending, the response - both on the markets and with the confidence of the general public - is going to be much higher than if I instruct the Bank of England to make some alterations to monetary policy which will have similar (if broader and less predictable) redistributive effects without overtly stating as much.

Frankly so long as whoever's in power isn't a complete idiot about it the risks would seem to be overstated. The 1970s were a total anomaly with disproportionate mindshare and almost every other country that has had major problems has already been a basket case before they went all macroeconomic populist. I'm not saying we should be the first ones to go out and try it and see what happens, it might still do bad things, but serious and sober minded people seem to be capable of thinking the UK could become Venezuela just because someone at the BoE had a shit day in the absence of any historical precedent.
>> No. 85264 Anonymous
17th March 2019
Sunday 5:23 pm
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While I agree that government should be looking at ways to shift away from our London-centric model I do question how effective it will be. At least in terms of how solutions are now being approached. The London economy is built precisely around it being a global capital with the manufacture parts moved out to places like Derby (for Rolls-Royce aerospace). Yes, the rents outrageous but much of the work done in the capital is location specific and can't easily be transplanted without just hobbling the city.

To go back to the point of the HMRC, they have been doing a fair amount of moving the administrative workers out to regional hubs but there still needs to be a core contingent of policy managers in London. It's looking at the problem backwards when the issue isn't that everywhere else is shit but that London is incredibly successful and now suffers from national policy built on fairness but which becomes unfair regionally.

The alternative I suggest would be to embrace Georgism and attach the majority of tax collection to property value. That might still hurt London by it would at least have the knock-on effect of closing down the property game.

>If you wanted to help people like this, just give them stuff, don't fuck with the supply or value of money.

I've long argued that governments should help address the stress of a downturn by buying everyone a pint. It's a bit like that tax holiday we had at the start of the Great Recession where sales tax was removed only rather than just a signal to consume it is one telling you to take some tlc.

Maybe we could go further and have public holiday camps with a special bank holiday in times of trouble. People could choose what kind of place they go (so I don't rub elbows with the riff-raff) but all would offer some greater public function like education or a special singles camp for bonking.

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